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How The Google Boys Get Around

written by John Chow on December 29, 2006



They say one of the first thing new billionaires buy when they reach billionaire status is a private jet. For Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, a normal jet just wouldn’t do. No, they had to buy a Boeing 767 so they can have some elbow room.

The custom jet (pictured above) was recently spotted at Christchurch Airport in New Zealand. The Press was unable to confirm yesterday whether Brin or Page was on board.

I do not have the exact figure on me but I believe a new Boeing 767 sells for $180 million (Brin and Page bought their jet used). Rumor has it another $50 million was spent to redo the interior so the big jet can have two bedrooms and adjoining bathrooms, a sitting area and a large galley. Seating capacity has been reduced to just 50 passengers.

However much the Google jet cost, it’s an expensive way to get around. You can imagine something like this would cause a hell rising at the Google shareholder’s meeting, and you would be right. However, Google doesn’t own the plane – Brin and Page paid for it out of their own pockets so the shareholders can’t complain about Google spending its money on big toys.

While Google Inc. may not have paid for the jet, Google does reimburse Brin and Page if they use the jet for official business. So if that trip to New Zealand was for Google business, Google would pay the cost of flying Brin and Page to their destination. The rate is based on the flying cost of the jet. I think on a 767, it’s about $25,000 an hour. So if it took the jet 8 hours to fly to New Zealand, the trip cost Google $200,000. And of course, they have to fly home too.

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